Political News

The Latest: Holtz calls group Evers' 'hit squad'

Posted March 15

— The Latest on the race for state superintendent (all times local):

4:05 p.m.

State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz says a liberal advocacy group is the "hit squad" for incumbent Tony Evers.

Holtz made the accusation about One Wisconsin Now in a statement Wednesday. It came after the Wisconsin Elections Commission rejected a complaint One Wisconsin Now had made alleging that Holtz broke election law by offering a job to a former opponent in the race.

Holtz calls on Evers "reject the politics of personal destruction practiced by his hit squad at One Wisconsin Now." Holtz also says he doesn't believe that Evers isn't involved with the group.

Holtz first talked about the alleged job offer during a live radio talk show. Evers' campaign manager Amanda Brink reacted to Holtz's accusations by noting that he had talked about it on the radio before One Wisconsin Now filed its complaint.

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3:40 p.m.

State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz says a liberal advocacy group is the "hit squad" for incumbent Tony Evers.

Holtz made the accusation about One Wisconsin Now in a statement Wednesday. It came after the Wisconsin Elections Commission rejected a complaint One Wisconsin Now had made alleging that Holtz broke election law by offering a job to a former opponent in the race.

Holtz calls on Evers "reject the politics of personal destruction practiced by his hit squad at One Wisconsin Now." Holtz also says he doesn't believe that Evers isn't involved with the group.

Evers didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But One Wisconsin Now director Scot Ross says Holtz should "stop calling names" and apologize.

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1:35 p.m.

State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz says he is not surprised that a complaint alleging he illegally offered a bribe to another candidate was dismissed.

Holtz reacted Wednesday to the news that the Wisconsin Elections Commission had dismissed the complaint from the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. Holtz spoke in December with candidate John Humphries about a deal in which one or the other would drop out in exchange for a $150,000 job with the state department the winner would oversee.

Holtz says the conversation has been mischaracterized and he would "never consider a buy out."

He is running against incumbent Superintendent Tony Evers. He says his main concern was not the alleged bribe, but that Holtz was also discussing a plan to take over control of the state's five largest school districts. He calls that "crazy" and the "scariest part of the whole thing."

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12:55 p.m.

State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz is proposing a teachers' bill of rights he says will free public school teachers from "burdensome administrative chores."

Holtz unveiled the plan Wednesday during an appearance with incumbent state Superintendent Tony Evers at a meeting of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

The Holtz plan calls for increasing safety in the classroom, eliminating what he calls a "strangling bureaucracy," giving schools more local control and providing teachers a stronger voice within the state Department of Public Instruction.

Evers says the state has lost an entire generation of teachers because those considering entering the field feel like teachers "have a target on their back." Evers blames Gov. Scott Walker's Act 10 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for teachers and other public workers.

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12:45 p.m.

State Superintendent Tony Evers is pitching himself as the candidate who can best work with school boards across the state, saying he's worked with liberal, conservative and moderate board members over his career.

Evers made the comment during a forum Wednesday with his challenger Lowell Holtz. The event was hosted by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

The race is officially nonpartisan but Holtz is generally supported by conservatives while Evers has backing of Democrats.

Evers is completing his eighth year as state superintendent and says, "You know me and I know you, that's the important thing."

Holtz is a former public school superintendent and he supports the expansion of the private school voucher program. Holtz calls Evers and co-workers at the Department of Public Instruction a "bureaucratic bunch."

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12:05 p.m.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has rejected a complaint against state superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz alleging that he bribed another candidate to get out of the race.

Liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now filed the complaint against Holtz. It came after another candidate John Humphries alleged that Holtz had offered him a $150,000 job in the state Department of Public Instruction if he would get out of the race and back him.

The Elections Commission notified One Wisconsin Now on Wednesday that its complaint had been rejected on Tuesday. The commission says the wrongdoing alleged does not violate state laws on bribery.

One Wisconsin Now director Scot Ross says the commission's decision points to shortcomings with the state law, "not the lack of sleaze in the conduct of Lowell Holtz."

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9:08 a.m.

Candidates for Wisconsin state superintendent are scheduled to meet for a forum less than three weeks from the election.

Incumbent superintendent Tony Evers and challenger Lowell Holtz are set to meet Wednesday at the event organized by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Holt and Evers are scheduled to take questions from a moderator.

The race is officially nonpartisan but Holtz has been trying to woo conservatives while Evers has the backing of Democrats. Evers is seeking a third term. Holtz retired last year as superintendent of the Whitnall School District after clashing with the school board. He also previously worked as superintendent in Beloit.

Holtz supports expanding private school vouchers and doing away with the Common Core curriculum, two things Evers opposes.

The election is April 4.

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